Viruses are traditionally seen as pretty bad things. In Hollywood, it was always some mysterious virus that left only a few people on Earth or gave rise to a horrific zombie apocalypse. They're the things we think about when we hear "epidemic" or "plague" (even when the black death is actually caused by bacteria). "Virus" is even what we call the pesky malware that can harm our computers. However, according to a new study, there are plenty of "good" viruses out there, too.
Who are the best diggers around? Is it humans? Fantasy dwarves? Mole people? Nah... as far as the experts are concerned, the fire ant takes the cake. New research has revealed that one of the primary reasons these little guys are such successful invaders is that they are able to thoroughly excavate complex colonies regardless of where they decide to settle - whether it be in wet clay or coarse and difficult-to-shape sand.
It's no small secret that ship strikes are a big threat to whales across the globe. Now a new study suggests that the largest of whales - particularly blue whales - may be the most vulnerable of all, as they lack the sort of caution and evasiveness that they would of developed had they ever actually had to worry about predators.
This is some bad news for beekeepers. Remember those harmful pesticides that conservationists, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and even a smattering of garden retailers are trying to keep away from bees? Well it turns out that not only are they harmful to all kinds of bees, but the little buzzers are actually crazy about the stuff, flocking to the same substances that will leave them cold and alone come winter.
Exactly five years to the day, an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leaked nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, research looking into the long-term effects of this disaster have made an unexpected discovery. Oil may encourage the formation of an unusual fall of organic matter called "marine snow" - a revelation that could help find smaller oil leaks in the future.
We've been told since we were in grade school (probably before) to "look both ways before crossing the street." However, it probably took a while before we remembered to do this. Chimpanzees, it seems, don't need to be reminded, as these wild animals have been observed taking the appropriate precautions all on their own when crossing many of Africa's new roadways.
The octopus is one heck of an intriguing animal, scuttling along the ocean floor or swimming through the deepest, darkest waters with a beautiful, yet alien-like grace. But can you imagine being one? That's a lot of limbs to keep track of all at once, and yet these animals somehow never tangle themselves up. How do they pull it off? A team of researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem think they have the answer.
Pesticides have been earning themselves a pretty bum rap these days. One of the driving factors behind the decline of honeybees and butterflies around the world, these chemicals have even recently been identified as a major water contaminant, harming aquatic life. Now, new research argues that to make pesticides acceptably safe, our best bet is to focus them solely on one target - a goal some experts think they can achieve.
Camouflage is not exactly rare in nature, but active camouflage - the type that changes to reflect its surroundings - has always been an exceptionally rare and fascinating ability. Some fish, lizards, and cephalopods have this ability to a certain degree. Now we can add spiders to that list, after experts identified a species of crab spider than can slowly change its colors to match its background when hunting.
You think dogs and humans are the only things to love bacon? Think again. New research has found that the common vampire bat likes pig blood more than any other warm meal it may chose to take while winging around at night.
Let's be clear: no one, and I mean no one, thinks a comb-over is handsome. People for years have argued that if you're balding, you might as well shave it all. Now however, a new study shows why some men will be pretty pleased that they hung onto their remaining hair.
If you ever saw Pixar's Finding Nemo, you likely remember Squirt, the adorable "offspring" of Crush the sea turtle. The film depicts squirt and his fellow young turtles as lively, rambunctious children, but experts had always thought the reality was that young sea turtles are often lethargic when young. Now new research shows that the movie may have been more accurate than experts even thought.
The Moon: it's a heavenly body of changing faces and meaning. It's commonly associated with horror, romance, and above all, mystery. And even answers concerning how it came to be have remained unknown... until now.
If you were to hear the "hoo hoos" of gibbons chattering and calling away in the wild or even zoos, do you think you could translate it? Probably not, but a team of researchers think they are very close to decoding the secrets of gibbon 'talk,' taking them a step closer to understanding language development in primates.
Seasons on Earth are determined by how and when our big blue world is tilted towards the Sun. The Sun then, as it is at the center of this process, could not possibly have seasons of its own. Now new research has revealed that this is not necessarily true, for the star actually undergoes predictable swings between times of relative calm and times of intense solar activity.